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20151212_143649The Niagara region is world renowned for its first-rate wines. With over 70 wineries located in the Niagara peninsula, the array of choice of pristine wineries with VQA standards is impressive. Whether it’s for a bachelorette weekend, or a romantic getaway, going to a Niagara winery in the summer is a great way to create unforgettable memories. The wine experience is sensory based, where the appearance, flavour and aroma intertwine to generate a delectable explosion. From the wine connoisseur, to the novice, indulge your senses and plan a visit to a Niagara winery.

Chateau des Charmes Wines

Strolling the vineyard at Chateau des Charmes entices an instant romantic element. The French-inspired castle ambiance of the exterior building, is breathtaking to say the least. Founded by Paul Bosc in 1978, this family owned winery produces over 30 delicious vintage wines. An ideal venue for a fairytale wedding, Chateau des Charmes stunning backdrop of St David’s Bench vineyard magical rose garden is spectacular. Tours are held in French, English, and Japanese , another standout factor that differentiates Chateau des Charmes as a top winery. The striking scenery and mouth-watering wine choices is what has kept Chateau des Charmes at the top of its game.

Peller Estates Winery

pellarestatesIt comes as no surprise that Peller Estate Winery was awarded Trip Advisors Certificate of Excellence in 2014. This picturesque family operated vineyard has been passed down from generation to generation, which adds to the estates history. For over 50 years founder Andrew Peller, alongside the Peller family, have contributed immensely to the quality of wine in Niagara. The popularity of Peller Estates can partly be attributed to Winemaker Katie Dickieson and winery chef Cityline personality Jason Parson. This duo has taken the food and wine experience to an exceptional level, unparallel to none. Take the time to visit the scenic outdoor patio and stay for lunch, the food and wine pairings will make it worth your while.

Caroline Cellars Winery

Tucked away, off the beaten path, Caroline Cellars Niagara-on-the-Lake winery is filled with heartwarming country charm. Named after the owners late grandmother and mother, Caroline Cellars family operated winery is an endearing site to see. One of the great perks of visiting Caroline Cellars is the free tasting bar and the generous portions. The bottles of wine are affordable, with starting prices averaging $12. Try the light and fruity Plum Wine at only $11.50, it’s a refreshing choice and perfect for a summer day. The relaxed and casual atmosphere, extensive wine choices, and friendly staff, makes this winery experience enjoyable.

Jackson – Triggs Winery

Jackson – Triggs popularity stems from its recognizable brand, and vineyards located across Canada, from British Columbia, Okanagan Valley to Niagara. Established in 2001, this Niagara-on-the-Lake vineyard has an jackson triggsarchitecturally modern and contemporary feel. The Amphitheatre Summer Concert Series has attracted talented musical acts such as Sam Roberts Band, and Chantel Kreviazuk. Incredible events are held all summer long at Jackson – Triggs, this element signifies its unique status. If you are in mood for a five course fine dining experience paired with delicious wines, then the Savour the Sights events is ideal. Pick up a bottle of 2012 Reserve Sparkling Cuve Close $14.95, balanced by an aroma of roses and lemons, it’s perfect for any celebration.

Joseph’s Estate Wines

With its appealing country flare, and wooden rustic indoor feel, Joseph’s Estate is a delightful winery that offers a variety of delicious wines. Established in 1979, Joseph’s Estate Wines is one of the three original cottage wineries in Niagara, making it rich with history. Dr. Joseph Pohorly founded Joseph’s Estates and was one of the first to bring recognition and popularity to Icewine. This family owned and operated winery holds valuable informative tours that are paired with yummy snacks. The 2000 Winter Harvest Vidal Icewine is a great choice, rating an 8 on the sweetness scale, it’s perfect if you prefer Icewine that isn’t too sweet, have a sample and you’ll want to take home the bottle!

Reif Estate Winery

Reif Estate Winery exudes a sophisticated atmosphere that is apparent through the polished interior. Founded by Ewald Reif, the 125 acre vineyard opened its doors in 1982 and maintained a positive reputation with its customers due to the helpful staff and educational tours. Set beside a striking 1870′s coach house, Reif Estate’s picturesque garden aids to the serene feel when exploring the property. The sensory wine bar is a crowd favourite, with blind tastings that challenge the senses. The Gamay Cabernet $15.15 is a great bargain and delicious when paired with pizza or a grilled hamburger.

dublin_ireland_2012_metroscenes.com_47Dublin, Ireland
What better place to celebrate an Irish holiday than, Ireland. Last year, an estimated 500,000 festive folks flocked to the city to celebrate the holiday and enjoy a few pints from the Emerald Isle. Dublin travelers can also pay a visit to the Guinness brewery to enjoy a fine beer straight from the brewer or watch some of the city’s historical buildings light up in festive colors for the Greening of the City.

Florence, Italy
It may not seem like your typical St. Patrick’s Day destination, but from March 17 through March 22, Florence honors the patron saint of Ireland with a ‘Festa Irlandese,’ or Irish Festival. During this festival, the city offers an Italian spin on the holiday while hosting pub crawls, live music and of course, alcohol. And those interested in the ultimate Irish pub experience can head to Finnegan’s, which is said to be the only Irish-owned pub in Florence.

London, England
Many of the cities on this list have St. Patrick’s Day Parades. In fact, London’s celebration draw over 100,000 guests each year. But London also hosts a holiday festival at Trafalgar Square that’s full of Irish traditions, like music and dance, which are perfect for families and free to experience. In addition, London offers more authentic Irish-owned pubs than any other city outside of the Emerald Isle, so folks can enjoy some of Europe’s finest — and oldest — Irish whiskeys and beers.

New York, New York
New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade has been running for over 250 years, and much like its Thanksgiving Day parade, it’s a doozy and is known internationally. While other celebrations would be ecstatic just to draw crowds of 100,000, New York’s parade has been known to feature over 150,000 marchers alone. Visitors can visit the many Irish pubs, partake in a walking tour of former “Little Ireland” or even create Irish-inspired crafts over in Central Park.

San Francisco, California
As home to one of the biggest St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in the Western United States, San Francisco offers an eclectic mix of cultural festivities, night life and crowds of enthusiastic locals. Folks can attend the St. Patrick’s Day-themed Night Life event at the California Academy of Science the Thursday before the holiday weekend, check out the famous Market Street parade or pay a visit to San Francisco’s Irish Cultural Center, which hosts its annual “Greenfest Block Party” with Irish cultural activities, music and dancing.

Buenos Aires, Argentina
In March, Buenos Aires boasts near-perfect weather, and when you take into account it has the fifth largest Irish community globally, there may be no better time than the present to pay a visit to Argentina. With narrow streets and its very own city-wide parade, Buenos Aires offers an authentic experience, as well as a crowded, rambunctious city geography that lends itself to international festivals.

Boston, Massachusetts
As home to a thriving and Irish pub scene and the Celtic-influenced punk rock group Dropkick Murphys, Boston is a prime spot for celebrating Saint Patrick’s Day. Every year, the city holds one of the biggest parades and boasts party after party at one of their many vibrant pubs. Visitors can also walk along the city’s Irish Heritage Trail, which begins at the Rose Kennedy Garden and ends near Fenway Park, to experience firsthand the rich Irish background behind some of the city’s most famous historical areas.

Chicago, Illinois
Besides offering delicious deep-dish pizza and wonderful views of Lake Michigan, the Windy City is home to one of the most spectacular St. Patrick’s Day displays in the world. Every year, thousands of festive Mid-Westerners take the train downtown to celebrate the holiday and witness the dyeing of the Chicago River. Using over 40 pounds of environmentally friendly coloring, the river stays green for an entire day, providing the perfect backdrop for the St. Patrick’s Day parade.

slide-7Newfoundland, Canada
Newfoundland is a historically Irish locale, with immigrants from the Emerald Isle reaching the small island off the coast of Canada back in the 17th century. One of the island’s main city centers, it is now known as the “Irish Loop”, as an area of such rich heritage, Newfoundland has declared St. Patrick’s Day a public holiday — making it only one of two cities outside of Ireland to do so. Because of its deep ties to the Irish culture, Newfoundland is the perfect place for visitors who want to enjoy some traditional Irish dishes and wash them down with a nice pint afterwards.

Sydney, Australia
Australia boasts a gigantic St. Patrick’s Day Parade of its own, complete with an overarching narrative and themed floats, but it might be most notable for its party scene. On St. Patty’s, the Sydney pubs and bars stay open until the early hours, serving up traditional Irish music. Those more grandiose party appetites can also check out the St. Patrick’s Day Booze Cruise, which sails through Sydney harbor for three crazy hours of holiday celebration.

iceNiagara on the Lake Icewine Festival Tours:

Celebrate Niagara Ice Wine Festival – A Shimmer of Gold  – Poured Daily, Celebrated Annually with Niagara Airbus Driver Guided Tours.  Pricing includes Discovery Pass.

Choose your week –  January 15-17, 22-24,29-31 , 2016

Pickup and Drop off at any Niagara or Downtown Toronto Hotel.

Niagara on the Lake Tour pricing, from Niagara with DiscoveryPASS is $ 85.00 and without DiscoveryPASS is $ 45.00.

From Toronto with DiscoveryPASS is $130.00 and without DiscoveryPASS is $ 90.00

Start  your day off at the Niagara College Teaching Winery!

Time for you to be the Judge !  Tempt your taste buds with two delicious hor d’oeuvres pared with  the Delectable Dean’s List Savant and find out for yourself whether Icewine is best pared with Sweet or Savoury

Next…off to Chateau Des Charmes Winery

Imagine serving up Pork Belly Taco with apple onion slaw alongside their delicious  2014 Vidal Icewine.   A liquid Gold paring not to be missed

We then make our way to Ravine Vineyards

You will visit the Woodruff House for an exceptionally spiced paring. Enjoy Chef Ross Midgleys Homemade Spicy Chicken Meatball in a Mole’ sauce with Rossco’s Corn Bread, perfectly paired with the 2013  Vidal Ice Wine.

From here  you will have Fee time in Niagara on the Lake,   voted the prettiest Town in Canada! You can browse  or  shop in the boutiques or free time for lunch.

Finally end your day with  the 2014 Canadian Winery of the year for a taste of Peller’s award winning and world –renowned Cabernet Franc Ice Wine as you roast their famous Icewine Marshmallows over an open fire.

PanAm-logoThe 2015 Pan American Games, officially the XVII Pan American Games and commonly known as the Toronto 2015 Pan-Am Games are a major international multi-sport event celebrated in the tradition of the Pan American Games, as governed by Pan American Sports Organization (PASO). The games are being held from July 10th to 26th, 2015 in Toronto, Canada, with preliminary rounds in certain events having begun on July 7th, 2015. Marking the third Pan-American games hosted by Canada, and the first in the province of Ontario, the Games are being held at venues in Toronto and seventeen other Golden Horseshoe communities. Both the Pan-American Games and 2015 Parapan American Games are being organized by the Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games (TO2015).
The Games are hosting 6,135 athletes representing 41 National Olympic Committees (NOCs) in the Americas, marking the largest multi-sport event hosted in Canada, in terms of athletes competing. A record of 45% of competitors are expected to be women, the most ever for any multi-sport event.The Games’ program consists of 364 events in 36 sports, which includes the 28 sports that will be contested at the 2016 Summer Olympics. Canoe slalom and golf will make their Pan-American Games debut, as well as women’s competitions in baseball, C-1 canoe and rugby sevens.

A total of 36 sports, 51 disciplines and 364 medal events were contested at the games. Basque pelota is the only sport dropped from the last games. Golf (after being added to the Olympic program for 2016) also made its Pan American Games debut. Canoe slalom, the only Olympic discipline to never have been held at the Games, also made its debut, meaning for the first time ever the entire Olympic sports program was contested.

The 2015 Pan American Games used a mixture of new venues, existing and temporary facilities, some of them in well-known locations such as Exhibition Place. After the Games, some of the new facilities will be reused in their games time form, while others will be resized. Ten of these venues were newly built, while fifteen were renovated to stage the games.

Toronto will become one of the most populous cities in history to hold the Pan American Games. In July, Toronto has an average mean temperature of 22.3 °C (72.1 °F) and afternoon maximum average of 26.6 °C (79.9 °F) The average humidity is 74%, and the city (downtown area) averages five days with the temperature exceeding 30 °C (86 °F) and about 65 millimetres (2.6 in) of precipitation, mostly brief periods of showers and sometimes thunderstorms.

In January 2012, the Toronto Organizing Committee for the 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games (TO2015) announced that sixty percent of the originally proposed venues would be dropped, in favour of a clustering system seen at other multi-sport events such as the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom.  Exhibition Stadium will stage the rugby sevens competition.

The opening and closing ceremonies will be held at Pan Am Dome, which will be referred to during the Games as the “Pan-Am Ceremonies Venue” due to sponsorship rules. Some of the competition venues in the Toronto area include Exhibition Stadium, the Pan Am / Parapan Am Fields, the Exhibition Centre and the Toronto Pan Am Sports Centre. Competition venues outside the city of Toronto include Hamilton Pan Am Soccer Stadium, Mississauga Sports Centre, Markham Pan Am Centre in Markham, the Oshawa Boxing Centre in Oshawa, and the Royal Canadian Henley Rowing Course in St. Catharines. Most of the torchbearers were selected by a random selection, while the others were selected by torch relay communities and games partners. The relay began on May 30th, 2015 in Toronto and finishes on July 10th, the date of the opening ceremony. The Games began July 10th with closing ceremonies July 26th, 2015.

fall18In 1827, Thomas Barnett began offering tourists a tour “Behind the Sheet” which included a walking tour to the base of the Horseshoe Falls and along a short ledge behind the falling water.

In 1887, the Niagara Falls – Queen Victoria Park Commission decided that the circular staircase leading to the “Behind the Sheet” tour at the base of the Horseshoe Falls should be replaced with a hydraulic lift.

During the spring of 1889, a major rock fall at the center of the Horseshoe Falls, diminished the flow of water over the Falls along the Canadian shore.

On June 6th 1893, the Zybach and Brundage Company were granted an exclusive ten year lease to operate the hydraulic lift, the Under the Falls attraction and photography business at the Table Rock.

In 1902, as part of the pipeline & powerhouse agreement, the Ontario Power Company agreed to build a 244 m tunnel behind the Horseshoe Falls. They were also required to construct an elevator to connect to this tunnel and provide free power for the elevator. In exchange the Ontario Power Company would take over the existing hydraulic lift to take its employees to and from their new power generating station at the base of the Falls.

The initial tunnel was built by the Ontario Power Company. By 1903, the new elevator and tunnel had been completed and ready for the tourist season. As a result, a 55 m long extension was made to the tunnel extending under the Horseshoe Falls.

In 1932, a commemorative plaque was erected to mark the site of the original Table Rock House which stood since being erected by Saul Davis in 1853. An inspection of the scenic tunnels revealed that gorge erosion had rendered the tunnels unsafe. The tunnel wall thickness had diminished to only 1.7 m between the tunnel and the gorge wall. A new tunnel was bored 18.3 m back from the former tunnel. The new tunnel was lined with concrete and electrically lighted.

In 1951, an outdoor observation platform was built at the end of a branch of the old tunnel. The Table Rock House and the starting point for this tunnel trip was the oldest building in the park. Thus, the Parks Commissioners decided to build a modern Table Rock House, which was located only a short distance south of the old Table Rock structure. This new building would allowed a full view of the Horseshoe Falls.

During 1916 as a result of WWI, the Table Rock House was closed and the military barricaded Queen Victoria Park from the Refectory to Dufferin Islands in order to protect the power generating stations. During the winter of 1916 – 1917, Table Rock House was used as headquarters for the Canadian Army. Bunk houses were built as were guard houses at the entrances to Queen Victoria Park.

Construction of the new table Rock building began in September of 1925. The architectural firm Findlay & Foulis of Sault St. Marie designed the new Table Rock House. The location of the new building required the construction of a branch tunnel to connect to the main tunnel leading to the Horseshoe Falls. The Table Rock and the Scenic Tunnels were closed to the public.

In 1963, extensive alterations were made to the Table Rock House. Again in 1989 a restoration project was started at table rock and completed in 1993.

In 2007, Table Rock finished its renovations for the newest attraction, Niagara’s Fury.

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